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AMA would support some public health plans

June 11, 2009 at 9:36 PM
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CHICAGO, June 11 (UPI) -- The American Medical Association says it would support public option health care plans that do not force doctors to participate.

In a statement, the group, the most powerful doctors' lobby in the United States, said it opposes any plan that would expand Medicare or pay Medicare reimbursement rates. The statement was issued in response to a New York Times story Wednesday quoting the group as saying healthcare "should be provided through private markets, as they are currently."

President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Chicago to address the AMA House of Delegates Monday. He will be the first U.S. president to do so since Ronald Reagan in 1983.

Obama supports creating a public health insurance plan that would compete with private ones. His press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said he would talk about the need for immediate action to cut healthcare costs, the Times said Thursday.

In its statement, the AMA said it could support some proposed public option healthcare plans.

"This includes a federally chartered co-op health plan or a level playing field option for all plans," the statement said.

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